March 26 2009, 8:59 AM
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill yesterday that would offer the government's highest protection to more than 2 million acres of wilderness in nine states, including Colorado. The bill will designate nearly 250,000 acres of Rocky Mountain National Park and 66,000 acres of red rock sandstone canyons, cliffs, streams, and waterfalls in western Colorado as wilderness, according to The Los Angeles Times. Supporters have been fighting to make RMNP wild since the Nixon administration, the Coloradoan points out. The bill is considered the "most sweeping land protection law" in a quarter century, writes The Christian Science Monitor. U.S. Senator Mark Udall, the Democrat who has long championed the idea, says he is "thrilled that with House passage we almost have the ball over the finish line," according to Fort Collins Now. Don't worry, Senator. The New York Times anticipates that Obama will sign the bill today.